Keep your emails customer-focused

All too often, brands think about their desire to send out an email before they consider the recipient’s desire to receive the message. Customer-centric emails often perform the best; for marketers to win, they must align their email organizations with that manner of thinking.

An August 2020 study from email production platform Dyspatch and SurveyMonkey found that relevancy trumps newness when persuading US consumers to purchase something from a marketing email. In fact, when asked what type of product recommendation in an email they would most likely act on, 59.4% of US adults cited product suggestions based on their purchase history, compared with just 22.7% who said they’d be most likely to purchase when presented with an email devoted to a newly launched product.

Brands must be judicious about what they communicate over email: What a brand considers to be essential information may not meet that bar for the recipient and may only present that recipient with an opportunity to unsubscribe. Only 19% of US consumers reported using welcome emails to learn about a new product, compared with the 60% who said they turned to Google for such information, per the SparkPost and SurveyMonkey research. Consumers do expect brands to keep them abreast of major product changes, with 36% of respondents saying email was their primary way of learning about such changes. Ultimately, half of respondents said they unsubscribed from email lists because the emails didn’t contain useful or interesting content.

Brands must be mindful of their content—but mindful doesn’t necessarily mean overly cautious. In fact, consumers increasingly expect email marketing to take the lead on communicating brands’ stances on important issues. A strong email marketing program conveys what a brand is and isn’t, as opposed to being just a vehicle for offering deals and discounts.